2 Kings 11:20
And all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was in quiet: and they slew Athaliah with the sword beside the king's house.
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(20) All the people of the land . . . the city.—Thenius calls this an “evident contrast between the soldiery and the. citizens; the former exulting in their work, the latter not lifting a finger while the idolatrous tyrant was being put to death “ (connecting the first half of the verse with the second; after Ewald). But his assumption that “all the people of the land,” here and in 2Kings 11:14, means “the soldiery” (“die ganze in Jerusalem anwesende Kriegerische Landesmannschaft—Die Kriegsmannschaft”) is certainly wrong. “The people of the land” are plainly opposed to the royal guards—“the Praetorians”—who effected the revolution, as civilians to soldiers.

The city was in quiet.—The citizens of Jerusalem accepted the revolution without attempting any counter movement. No doubt there was a strong element of Baal-worshippers and partisans of Athaliah in the capital. “The people of the land” (i.e., probably, the people whom the centurions had called together from the country, at the instance of Jehoiada, according to 2Chronicles 23:2) are contrasted with the burghers of Jerusalem. The phrase, “the city was in quiet” (or “had rest,” Judges 5:31), may, however, possibly refer to the deliverance from the tyranny of Athaliah.

And they slew Athaliah.—Rather, and Athaliah they had slain; an emphatic recurrence to the real climax of the story (2Kings 11:16), by way of conclusion.

Beside.—Rather, in, i.e., within the palace enclosure.

11:17-21 King and people would cleave most firmly to each other, when both had joined themselves to the Lord. It is well with a people, when all the changes that pass over them help to revive, strengthen, and advance the interests of religion among them. Covenants are of use, both to remind us of, and bind us to, the duties already binding on us. They immediately abolished idolatry; and, pursuant to the covenant with one another, they expressed mutual readiness to help each other. The people rejoiced, and Jerusalem was quiet. The way for people to be joyful and at peace, is to engage fully in the service of God; for the voice of joy and thanksgiving is in the dwellings of the righteous, but there is no peace for the wicked.They slew Athaliah with the sword - This is one of the many little repetitions which mark the manner of the writer, and which generally contain some little point which has not been mentioned before (compare 2 Kings 11:16). 2Ki 11:17-20. Jehoiada Restores God's Worship.

17, 18. a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people—The covenant with the Lord was a renewal of the national covenant with Israel (Ex 19:1-24:18; "to be unto him a people of inheritance," De 4:6; 27:9). The covenant between the king and the people was the consequence of this, and by it the king bound himself to rule according to the divine law, while the people engaged to submit, to give him allegiance as the Lord's anointed. The immediate fruit of this renewal of the covenant was the destruction of the temple and the slaughter of the priests of Baal (see 2Ki 10:27); the restoration of the pure worship of God in all its ancient integrity; and the establishment of the young king on the hereditary throne of Judah [2Ki 11:19].

No text from Poole on this verse. And all the people of the land rejoiced,.... That one of the house of David was set upon the throne, which they might fear was extinct, as it very near was; the lamp of David was almost quenched, only this single life left, from whom a line of kings proceeded, and the King Messiah; the promise of God cannot fail see Psalm 132:11, this occasioned great joy:

and the city was quiet: was very easy at, yea, pleased with, the dethroning and death of Athaliah; there was no tumult on account thereof, nor such disturbances as she occasioned in her life:

and they slew Athaliah with the sword beside the king's house; as related in 2 Kings 11:16 where she was buried, or what became of her carcass, is not said; some have thought she was cast into the brook Kidron, because Josephus says (h) Jehoiada ordered her to be had into that valley, and there slain.

(h) Antiqu. l. 9. c. 7. sect. 3.

And all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was in quiet: {t} and they slew Athaliah with the sword beside the king's house.

(t) Who by his cruelty and persecution had troubled the whole land.

20. And [R.V. So] all the people of the land rejoiced] The attachment of Judah to the family of David had always been very great, and to see a son of that family on the throne, even though some of his blood was of Ahab’s house, was far more to the mind of the people than to be ruled over by a daughter of Ahab.

and the city was in quiet] R.V. omits in, as is done in the parallel verse in 2 Chron. Cf. for the expression, the phrase so frequently recurring in Judges, ‘the land had rest’ (Jdg 3:30; Jdg 5:31; &c.).

beside [R.V. at] the king’s house] There is no preposition in the original as the italics of A.V. indicate; the noun is an accusative of place. Hence the ‘at’ of R.V. is warranted.

On the death of Athaliah Josephus (Ant. IX. 7. 3) says, ‘Jehoiada having called the captains ordered them to take Athaliah into the valley of Kidron and there to kill her’. In 2 Kings 25:4 (see note there) we find that ‘the king’s garden’ was very near to the Kidron valley. It may be therefore that the place indicated here ‘beside (at) the king’s house’ was not far from the ‘king’s garden’ spoken of there.Verse 20. - And all the people of the land rejoiced. "All the people of the land" has here, perhaps, a wider signification than in vers. 18 and 19. The whole land was content with the revolution that had taken place. No opposition showed itself. Ewald has no ground for his statement that the heathenizing party was strong in Jerusalem, and that the worshippers of Jehovah "had for a long time to keep watch in the temple, to prevent surprise by the heathenizing party" ('History of Israel,' vol. 4. p. 136, note 3). He has mistaken the intention of the last clause of ver. 18. If anything is clear from the entire narrative of the early reign of Joash (2 Kings 11:3-21; 2 Kings 12:1-16; 2 Chronicles 23:1-21; 2 Chronicles 24:1-14), it is that there was no heathenizing party in Jerusalem, or none that dared to show itself, until after the death of the high priest Jehoiada, which was later than the twenty-third year of Joash. And the city - i.e. Jerusalem - was in quiet: and they slew - it might he translated, when they had slain - Athaliah with the sword beside the king's house. The intention of the writer is to connect the period of tranquility with the removal of Athaliah, and therefore to point her out as the cause of disturbance previously. Death of Athaliah. - 2 Kings 11:13, 2 Kings 11:14. As soon as Athaliah heard the loud rejoicing of the people, she came to the people into the temple, and when she saw the youthful king in his standing-place surrounded by the princes, the trumpeters, and the whole of the people, rejoicing and blowing the trumpets, she rent her clothes with horror, and cried out, Conspiracy, conspiracy! העם הרצין does not mean the people running together, but the original reading in the text was probably והעם הרצין, the people and the halberdiers, and the Vav dropped out through an oversight of the copyist. By הרצין we are to understand the captains of the halberdiers with the armed Levites, as in 2 Kings 11:11; and העם is the people who had assembled besides (cf. 2 Kings 11:19). In the Chronicles המּלך והמהללים הרצים is in apposition to העם: the noise of the people, the halberdiers, and those who praised the king. The עמּוּד, upon which the king stood, was not a pillar, but an elevated standing-place (suggestus) for the king at the eastern gate of the inner court (בּמּבוא, 2 Chronicles 23:13 compared with Ezekiel 46:2), when he visited the temple on festive occasions (cf. 2 Kings 23:3), and it was most probably identical with the brazen scaffold (כּיּור) mentioned in 2 Chronicles 6:13, which would serve to explain כּמּשׁפּט, "according to the right" (Angl. V. "as the manner was"). השּׂרים are not merely the captains mentioned in 2 Kings 11:4, 2 Kings 11:9, and 2 Kings 11:10, but these together with the rest of the assembled heads of the nation (האבות ראשׁי, 2 Chronicles 13:2). החצצרות, the trumpets, the trumpeters. The reference is to the Levitical musicians mentioned in 1 Chronicles 13:8; 1 Chronicles 15:24, etc.; for they are distinguished from וגו כּל־העם, "all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing the trumpets," i.e., not all the military men of the land who were present in Jerusalem (Thenius), but the mass of the people present in the temple (Bertheau).
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